Landlords generally prefer to stay out of small claims court whenever possible, but filing a civil action is sometimes the only way to recoup financial losses caused by irresponsible tenants who inflict significant damage on the rental unit. One of the many benefits of working with a home rental company in Mesa, AZ, is that its property management services can eliminate or greatly reduce the possibility of a security deposit failing to cover the cost of repairs. For starters, real estate management professionals screen prospective tenants thoroughly to ensure that only responsible individuals can rent from you. When repairs are needed or legal action must be taken, property management providers can coordinate these services.
Itemizing the Damages
Arizona state law requires landlords or their property managers to either provide the full security deposit to ex-tenants no later than 14 days of the move-out day or to provide an itemized statement of expenses for which the security deposit was used by the same deadline. The itemized statement may include expenses for cleaning, back rent, repairs, or any other costs and obligations specified in the lease agreement. Since the security deposit does not cover your total cost to get the apartment back in good condition, it should specify exactly how much the ex-tenant still owes.
Writing a Demand Letter
When you or your property manager sends the itemized statement to the ex-tenant, it should be accompanied by a demand letter. The demand letter should include information such as the fact that the security deposit did not cover the full cost of cleaning or repairs. The letter should demand that the individual pay the full balance owed by a certain date. It should also notify the individual of your right to take him or her to small claims court if an agreement is not reached.
Deciding Whether to Go to Court
If you do not receive the full payment, it’s time to decide whether you truly want to take the tenant to court . Consider whether you have sufficient evidence to prove that the tenant is indeed responsible for the damage, such as “before” and “after” photographs. Consider whether the amount the tenant owes is greater than your legal fees are likely to be. You may wish to speak with your property manager or a lawyer about the situation before making your decision.
If you’re a prospective tenant who is ready to contact rental management companies in Mesa, AZ, you may wish to take a few minutes to learn about your rights under Arizona law. For starters, it’s crucial to carefully read the lease agreement and any other documents your property manager provides before you sign them. If there is anything you do not understand, ask the property manager for clarification. You should also know the answers to some basic questions, such as how far in advance a property manager must provide notification before entering the residence to make non-emergency repairs.
You can find the answer to this and other common questions tenants have by watching this short video. You’ll learn about the maximum security deposit allowed under Arizona law, when a landlord is required to pay the security deposit back, and how long a property manager must wait before initiating eviction proceedings.
One common problem that landlords encounter is property deterioration or damage caused by delays in reporting by tenants. Some tenants avoid reporting problems because they worry they’ll be blamed for causing them, while others simply don’t care about the upkeep of property that they rent instead of own. Both of these issues can be avoided by contracting with property management services in Mesa, AZ. When a landlord has property management providers, tenants can simply contact these third-parties about problems as they occur. Property management providers offer a sort of buffer zone between landlords and tenants, which allows all involved parties to feel more comfortable with the interaction. Furthermore, property maintenance and repairs may be available around the clock to address emergency situations such as a leaky roof.
Additionally, a residential property management company can conduct in-depth and effective tenant screening procedures. Legal tenant background checks can greatly reduce the risk of renting out the property to an irresponsible tenant who won’t treat the property as if it were his or her own.
Maintenance tasks are an inevitable part of property management . Even if you generally perform basic maintenance on your own home, you may wish to think twice before attempting to maintain your rental properties. Maintenance tasks are time-consuming and if they aren’t performed properly or their completion is delayed, the results can be costly to repair. Instead, consider hiring a home rental company in Mesa, AZ, to do the heavy lifting for you. In doing so, you’ll maximize your returns while reducing your workload and stress level.
House fires are among a landlord’s greatest fears, but routine property maintenance can effectively manage this risk. Your property manager will ensure that working smoke detectors are installed to code in all of your rental units. He or she can even arrange for the smoke detectors to be tested every month and the batteries to be replaced at least once per year, in accordance with U.S. Fire Administration guidelines. One common cause of house fires is a clogged dryer vent. The vent ducts should be vacuumed regularly and they should be professionally cleaned every two to three years to prevent dryer fires.
An HVAC system is something that is often taken for granted-until it starts breaking down. Your property manager will arrange for experienced HVAC professionals to inspect the system regularly and perform maintenance tasks as needed, including changing the filters. If your rental units feature fireplaces or pellet stoves, these will need to be professionally inspected and regularly cleaned.
A failing septic system can cost thousands to repair. In the meantime, your tenants will be significantly inconvenienced and may even consider moving elsewhere. If the septic system needs to be dug up, you can expect to add hundreds or more to your budget for landscaping repairs. To prevent these expensive problems, your property manager can arrange for septic professionals to pump out the tank every few years.
As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your buildings are safe and do not pose unreasonable health risks. Routine pest extermination is one of the essential maintenance tasks that your property manager can handle on your behalf. Pest exterminators can protect your rental properties from rodents, bed bugs, scorpions, cockroaches, and other unwelcome inhabitants.